Leitner-Poma Maintains Over 99% Uptime with TOSIBOX® Connectivity Solution

Ski lift manufacturer Leitner-Poma standardises on TOSIBOX® technology developed by Tosibox Oy to secure global network of transportation systems.

Leitner-Poma has installed more than ten thousand transportation systems in sixty-one countries, and safely transport eight million passengers each hour. Reliable operation of transportation equipment is essential, but as with all machines, issues are expected to arise from time to time. If a lift at a remote location has issues, Tosibox provides secure remote access to diagnose what is wrong.

The Problem

Previously there was no consistent way to get to the machines around the world. Leitner-Poma found that using hand-made, traditional Cisco-based IT-networking was not scalable per their needs or operationally feasible. Remote access became difficult to set up, use and maintain. Moreover, connection reliability was an ongoing challenge. The old system was constantly requiring Leitner-Poma to thinker with it to keep it connected.

”The way we used to do it was just painful. Then we went to Tosibox. You plug in the Key, click, click, and BANG. You are connected,” said AJ Egli, IT Network Admin at Leitner-Poma of America.

Tosibox Starter Pack Offers at LC Automation.

The Solution

Leitner-Poma discovered the patented TOSIBOX® technology that provides a consistent and standardized VPN access anywhere in the world in 5 minutes and without special IT skills. TOSIBOX® solution has been a game changer for Leitner-Poma’s team, making their job easier and less time consuming. By using TOSIBOX®, they have been able to save time and have more time fixing their ski lifts, gondolas, trams, and so on. TOSIBOX® is also used to maintain secure access to Leitner-Poma’s global network of systems.

Leitner-Poma now enjoys more reliable connectivity than before, and there is no longer the concern about whether it will connect or stay connected. The company is standardizing on TOSIBOX® as the connection solution for securing its global network and has been able to maintain over 99% uptime. Instead of spending time on IT, they can now simply fix issues and get the customer’s lift back to making money, which even makes for happier customers.

“Thanks to the accelerating development of technology, human life will change more over the next 30 years than in the previous 300 years. In this era of the Internet of Everything, the ubiquitous technology changes customer expectations – even for the uptime of ski lifts. Our mission is to change the world by simplifying secure digital connections, and the disruptive TOSIBOX® technology offers ways to ease the work of technicians around the world,” says Jarno Limnéll, CEO at Tosibox.

TOSIBOX® Lock and Key create a secure point-to-point connection between the machine and user that allows effortless troubleshooting. Remote access is established simply by plugging in the Key to a computer’s USB port and logging in to the TOSIBOX® Key software to connect. To learn more about the solution, call our remote access experts on 01254 685900, they will be happy to help!

A Safe Take-Off – Rittal Blue e+ chillers used in aircraft manufacturing

Aircraft manufacturing. Before a brand-new A320 can be put to work ferrying holiday­makers to sunnier climes, the aircraft has to pass some serious testing at Airbus. However, it isn’t just the aircraft that needs overheating protection to make sure it runs like a dream – the testing hardware needs proper protection, too. Airbus uses Blue e+ cooling units from Rittal to keep its testing facilities in top condition.

The two Airbus workers sit on stools in the cockpit of the Airbus A320, as the pilot seats have yet to be installed. Through the cockpit windows they see not clouds, but 4 monitors displaying the “ground test instructions” they need to work through.

However, the first tests start much earlier. As soon as the fuselage sections of a new aircraft have been assembled, the cables are laid there – and tested. All along the various assembly stations, all newly installed components and systems are immediately tested to ensure they are fully functional. Depending on the configuration of the aircraft in question, the full set of tests for an A320 can take around 400 hours to complete. The majority of these are carried out in Jacobs’ department. Fuelling, taxiing, take-off and landing together with various flight manoeuvres are all simulated on the final assembly line. “Our engineers could fly the aircraft, even though they’re not pilots,” the Head of Ground Testing points out. All functions that are essential to flight safety on the Airbus must be 100 per cent reliable. Only when an A320 has passed all these tests with flying colours can it be sent for delivery and take off from the runway at the Airbus plant in Finkenwerder on its maiden flight.

Simulating Operation

The tasks carried out on the final assembly line include the complete fit-out of the cabin. “Once again, we check everything – from the headphone sockets and in-flight entertainment screens on each individual passenger seat right through to the coffee machine in the galley,” says Jacobs. Testing all the onboard functions requires high-performance hardware that is connected up to the sensors and actuators of the aircraft and used to run complex simulation programs. A total of three computers are needed for the simulations. Each computer is equipped with additional hardware that links up to the components in the aircraft. Lengths of cable as thick as a human arm reach from enclosures containing the simulation computers to the insides of the aircraft. This makes it possible to simulate parameters such as engine speed and the signals from the speed measurement devices. The computers also capture output signals, primarily voltages and volume resistance.

Left: An ice-cold marathon – Cooling units in the Blue e+ range run continuously and stop hardware from overheating. Right: Digital view – No stunning aerial vista for the engineers: Monitors are mounted in front of the cockpit to display the ground test instructions.

Airbus developed the simulation computers, which are installed in a Rittal enclosure on the test bench, in-house. The hardware generates a lot of heat when in use and therefore needs to be cooled – the voltage transformers in particular, which are needed for the connection to the components in the aircraft, can get very hot. “In the past, before we started using active cooling systems for the computers, they often crashed during the summer,” Jacobs recalls. Given how tightly and carefully coordinated the production schedule is at Airbus, that simply could not continue. The enclosures were fitted out with active climate control systems in 2006 to avoid precisely such downtime. Today, there are 28 of these test stations in the Airbus plant, all similarly configured. What’s more, all are fitted with Blue e+ cooling units from Rittal to protect the sensitive hardware from overheating. The reliability of the Blue e+ units is particularly important to Airbus. “If the cooling systems for the simulation computers were to fail, we wouldn’t be able to conduct our tests,” Jacobs points out. The test bench is in use at least five days a week in double-shift operation. “We switch on the cooling units in the morning and they run with absolute reliability,” he says. The cooling systems at the test benches are monitored and, should a unit still somehow fail, a warning light comes on to alert staff.

Guaranteed Energy Efficiency

The idea to upgrade to the energy-efficient Blue e+ cooling units came about while working on energy management for the ISO-14001 certification. Rittal Support gave Airbus crucial assistance during this process, as Jacobs explains: “Thanks to the energy efficiency calculator, we were able to work out in advance how much energy we would save by upgrading to the new cooling technology.”

Well-timed maintenance is crucial to ensuring the cooling units run reliably and efficiently. The main causes of failures are critical component statuses and external influencing factors. Networking the units with the IoT interface ensures the condition of all cooling units is reported to overarching systems. Maintenance teams can then promptly plan the necessary measures and carry out the work at the most appropriate time. These benefits can be taken to the next level in the future by linking up to Rittal’s Smart Service Portal. The networking between the devices and continuous status monitoring ensure critical operating statuses can be identified early on.

The senior managers at Airbus were also impressed by how user-friendly the cooling units are. All parameters can be adjusted easily, using the two buttons on the control panel, and the display depicts status and error messages in clear language. “The quality is right and the customer service we get from Rittal is excellent,” Jacobs concludes. Based on this positive experience, the test benches at the Airbus sites in the USA and China, which are configured in exactly the same way, are also being retrofitted with the new Blue e+ cooling units.

Carpigiani: A Recipe For Gelato Success

What can make ice cream even better than it already is? IoT connectivity, of course.

Ice cream equipment manufacturer Carpigiani is scooping out added value, sales growth and exceptional customer service experience with help from Telenor Connexion’s IoT solution. How did they do it? 

Watch the video to get the story directly from their customers.

Background

Italian-based Carpigiani is a market-leader in the manufacture of machines for gourmet gelato. Over 10,000 ice cream machines are manufactured every year, and exported mainly around the world to customers spanning from small ice cream shops to multinational fast-food brands.

Factors like heavy usage and hygienic requirements give rise to recurrent maintenance and costly downtime. Carpigiani solved this problem for their customers through optimised maintenance on actual usage, via a connected after-sales service monitoring system called Teorema.

Teorema was initially launched in Italy and Germany, and a local provider was appointed to handle the connectivity solution.

Challenge

As Carpigiani expanded it’s service offering geographically, the administration around having a connectivity supplier for each country soon became a real problem for Carpigiani. It was clear the company needed a global provider. Carpigiani had 3 key criteria when selecting the right partner: global capacity, flexibility and price.

Solution

Telenor Connexion provided Carpigiani with a global IoT solution that was tied to over 400 mobile networks globally and which uses a global SIM. This solution enables Carpigiani to standardise their production, and facilitate their various product models, regardless of wherever in the world it will be sold or used.

The data generated from each machine is used to comprehensively analyse the state of the equipment. This allows Carpigiani to deliver a consistently high, predictive customer service experience.

Results

Relying on Telenor Connexion’s IoT Managed Connectivity solution, over 8,000 Carpigiani machines, comprising 300 product models, are now connected to Teorema. More machines are planned to be connected shortly. Today, Teorema is being offered to customers as part of an extended all-inclusive warranty service called Teorema4U.

As Carpigiani continues to evolve their smart IoT services on a global scale, they are working closely with Telenor Connexion to incorporate emerging markets for connected ice cream machines. One key market is Asia.

The Telenor Connexion IoT Managed Connectivity solution continues to remove barriers to Carpigiani’s sales growth. And is enabling Carpigiani to deliver a truly innovative global service to customers around the world.

Great Value Telenor SIM Cards from LC Automation

With prices from just £7 a month, there are lots of good reasons why you should only use specific M2M SIM cards in your Remote Access or IIoT applications. Click here for more details.

In Times Of Uncertainty, Make the Most of your Assets

It’s safe to say that there is a great deal of uncertainty at the moment; something which is being felt not just in the UK but in many countries across the world.

In these circumstances, the best thing that businesses can do is protect their existing assets. It’s fundamentally important to ensure that all assets perform at an optimum level during their entire service life, and for an organisation to continue its journey towards increased efficiency and reliability so that it can remain competitive in a changing marketplace.

In the industrial space, a company’s lifeblood is its machinery and all machinery has critical components such as its electrical drives, motors etc. without which any very expensive robotic arm is nothing but a very elaborate statue, collecting dust. So it’s imperative that electrical equipment is housed within a protective environment, to ensure it operates to it’s full potential. 

A protective environment takes the form of both high quality enclosures and correctly prescribed climate control equipment. The two items work together to safeguard your equipment from the following:

High Temperatures Impact the Lifespan of Equipment

Prolonged high internal temperatures reduce the lifespan of your equipment. This will mean an increased chance of unplanned breakdowns, increased costs and reduced production output.

Furthermore, your equipment cannot work at 100% output once its maximum operating temperature has been exceeded, which means you will experience an overall reduction in your machine’s efficiency and reduced manufacturing output.

To prevent high temperatures being reached within the enclosure, correctly sized enclosure cooling products should be installed. This could be fans and filters, cooling units or air-to-water heat exchangers, dependant on both the amount of heat produced by the electrical equipment and the ambient temperature in the surrounding environment.

Rittal Blue e+ Roof Mounted Cooling Unit

Low Temperatures Can Also Damage Equipment

Equipment needs protecting from low temperatures as much as high ones. In winter, when ambient temperatures drop, any equipment that has been idle over the weekend can be damaged as soon as it’s turned on from cold.

In addition, motors or compressors can experience problems when oil contained within sealed systems begins to increase in viscosity. This can damage the seals/components, again causing failures.

To prevent this happening, you should fit a correctly sized enclosure heater inside the enclosure.  When connected to a thermostat, the heater will maintain an acceptable minimum temperature preventing any damage to electrical equipment caused when the low temperature minimum is exceeded.

Condensate Poses Safety Risk

Condensate can be a real issue when it forms within the enclosure and on critical equipment in high humidity environments. Condensate poses a real safety risk to the electrical devices and can cause catastrophic failure if left unchecked.

You can combat this problem by using a high quality industrial enclosure with a minimum of an IP54 seal to prevent humid air from constantly entering the enclosure. This can be combined with a cooling unit featuring an integrated condensate evaporator; the cooling unit acts as a de-humidifier and removes excess condensate from the pocket of air within the sealed enclosure.

Dust, Dirt and Corrosive Substances

Many industries suffer from dusty or dirty environments, which can impact on electrical equipment and its optimum performance. For example:

  • Carbon dust in the steel or manufacturing industry
  • Yeast or vinegar extract in the food and beverage industry
  • Salt water vapour in the air in a marine or coastal application

The above contaminants will attack the wires and electrical connections within your enclosure. In time, this can corrode or (worse) short connections, which in turn can cause excess heat and/or a panel fire.

In highly contaminated environments, the best advice is to use a cooling product which does not allow dirty ambient air to constantly enter the enclosure, so fans and filters are a no-no. Air-to-air or air-to-water heat exchangers and cooling units are best solutions, dependant on the heat load as they will only treat the small pocket of air within the enclosure, but they will also reduce the level of contaminants entering the space.

Summary

Any change or upheaval that impacts on a company’s trading environment brings with it challenges, but also opportunities. The trick is always to optimise your business for success, reducing costs wherever possible, while maximising productivity and efficiency.

Rittal can provide you with a free inspection of your current cooling equipment regardless of manufacturer, age or condition. This will then allow us to advise you of any recommended improvements and (critically) confirm whether you are using the correct equipment.

The long term benefits of maintaining a protective environment and allowing your equipment to perform to its optimum will help your business to flourish.


Written by Karl Lycett, Rittal UK’s Product Manager for Climate Control. For further information see the Rittal range on our website or call
01254 685900.

Generation X Was Here – Rittal Launch New AX and KX Enclosures at LC Automation

Rittal brought their brand new demo bus to LC Automation’s head office in Blackburn last Thursday. Titled ‘Generation X is here’ it was the first chance to see the new AX and KX enclosures which were recently launched at Hannover Messe. We are excited to share our partnership with Rittal and can’t wait to supply the new enclosures later in the year.

Neil Battery demonstrates the latest new developments from Rittal

Over 35 Million Units Sold

Rittal has rethought and redesigned the new AX compact and KX small enclosures, providing simpler, faster assembly and component installation, greater flexibility and enhanced safety. This launch marks the digital transformation of a standardised product that has been made by Rittal for more than 50 years: Over 35 million units of the AE have been manufactured, making it the most popular compact enclosure in the world.

Rittal Alliance Partner

We have been a Rittal Alliance Partner for many years, so it was a big deal to get the brand new AX and KX enclosures to our Blackburn head office before (almost) anyone else. It was a great opportunity for our staff and customers to see some of the main features such as; more space, easier installation and modular design, for themselves. They are going to be incredibly popular when we get them in stock.

The brand new Rittal AX and KX enclosures

The AX and KX enclosures won’t be available till the autumn but as Rittal Alliance Partners we can be sure that LC Automation can supply Rittal enclosures for any industrial application. If you’re looking for a high quality enclosure for your project, give us a call on 01254 685 900 or take a look at our website
https://www.lcautomation.com/Page/Our_Suppliers/Rittal.aspx

The Top 5 Ways Manufacturers Can Implement IIoT

With all the acronyms in today’s tech landscape, executives are finding it seemingly impossible to keep up. IIoT is no exception. Manufacturers are beginning to sort out how they can make IIoT a reality in their organisation as a way to gain granular-level insight, save costs, extend equipment lifetime and improve process visibility.

According to an Accenture report, IIoT help companies “capture new growth through three approaches: boost revenues by increasing production and creating new hybrid business models, exploit intelligent technologies to fuel innovation, and transform their workforce.” By implementing IIoT into their facilities’ processes, manufacturers can be poised to increase growth while reducing costs.  

While there is no single framework to fit all organisations, manufacturers can follow these five steps to successfully implement IIoT technology in their operations efficiently, effectively and safely:

Connect and Communicate

One of the benefits of IIoT is the ability to access data from machinery around the facility to gain insight, but this information is not available without the proper communication capabilities. Whether the equipment was deployed 50 or five years ago, integrating new or existing sensors with wireless, Ethernet, serial or fiber cables is the first step in collecting data. Once sensors are properly connected, the machinery can then communicate locally and relay information back to manufacturing teams.

Monitor

After ensuring that all machinery is communicating, manufacturers need the ability to continuously monitor the data flowing around the facility. If the facility includes remote locations, then a 3G or 4G/LTE network will help manufacturers monitor equipment without actually being there. Separate Internet connections or cellular routers will help push the data into the cloud, giving manufacturers the ability to view the data remotely at all times.

Secure

Introducing innovative technologies into the manufacturing facility requires reevaluating existing security protocols. In an era that is full of data breaches, manufacturers need to ensure all sensitive data being transmitted –  both inside and outside the organisation – is fully protected and out of the hands of wrongdoers. Special consideration should be paid to any older equipment that is being exposed to networking through the use of protocol conversion, as security may not have originally been designed into the equipment.

Analyse

With the introduction of IIoT-ready technologies, there will be more data than ever before, which can be counter-productive if not analysed correctly. Manufacturers need to know how to properly gather and analyse data from each machine to gain actionable insights that help streamline processes in the plant, not make them more difficult. Protocol conversion, data logging and visual management will provide ways to collect, monitor and analyse real-time data to provide more visibility into operational conditions revolving around productivity within the plant.

Train

Implementing IIoT means there is more advanced technologies than ever before, which can be overwhelming for a manufacturer. The best way to ease into the new data-driven facility is to offer training to better understand IIoT-ready technologies and demonstrate how automation and networking can help them succeed. 

IIoT will become an inevitable and integral reality within every manufacturing facility, enabling companies to cut costs while maintaining growth. By following these steps, implementing new technologies will be a smooth transition, not a cumbersome and counterproductive burden. Manufacturing will soon thrive with increased visibility and access to the insights they need to remain innovative, productive and ahead of their competition.

This article was previously posted on the Red Lion blog. Check out http://content.redlion.net/TheLionsDen for the latest Red Lion news.